Patrolman John S. Collins

Patrolman John S. Collins

Chicago Police Department, Illinois

End of Watch Wednesday, December 13, 1967

Add to My Heroes

John S. Collins

Patrolman John S. Collins was shot and killed while off duty when he attempted to apprehend a car thief in the Sears store parking lot at 79th Street and Kenwood Avenue.

He and his wife were Christmas shopping at a department store at 79th and Kenwood when their 10-year-old son got lost in the crowded store. Patrolman Collins and his wife thought the boy might return to the car and went to the parking lot to look for him. As they approached their car, they observed a man attempting to break into it. When Patrolman Collins asked the man what he was doing, the man replied that he apparently had mistaken the car for his own.

Patrolman Collins identified himself as a police officer. The man drew a revolver and grabbed Mrs. Collins as a shield. As Patrolman Collins drew his revolver the man fired one shot at him but missed. He then ran from the lot with Patrolman Collins in pursuit. When Patrolman Collins caught up with him in a gangway, a struggle ensued, and Patrolman Collins was fatally shot. He was transported to Jackson Park Hospital where he succumbed to his wounds.

The 25-year-old killer was apprehended and sentenced to death. On June 15th, 1973, he was resentenced to 100 to 200 years after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled all death sentences invalid.

Patrolman Collins is survived by his wife and son.


  • Age 30
  • Tour 1 year
  • Badge 1835

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to life

off duty

Most Recent Reflection

View all 15 Reflections

Officer Collins lived next to us in the Beverly neighborhood.

The daughter of Casimir Wistert, another Chicago officer down, also lived four houses north of us in Beverly.

Neither forgotten and never will be.

Albert E.

March 27, 2021

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.